- My brother on his first day of school.
Those of us who are parents of children old enough to be involved in group performance can relate, I hope, to the feeling of comfort I had yesterday at a school event.
I’ve had the feeling of overwhelming pride wash over me at sport events, science fairs, plays and during other big events. I also have had this experience during low keyed, but just as important interactions like on the playground or while overhearing a cute conversation with friends.
But, churchy kind of gal that I am, not much knocks me out emotionally more than seeing them wrapped up in something religious.
I’ve done some serious pondering about this today, and here is what I’ve come up with:
Pardon my French, but parenting is scary shit.
A friend said it well in an email exchange among four of us who are gritting our teeth with our beloved teens,
Rooted in fear for me is the NEED to control him
so he’ll be ok and then
I’ll be ok.
For me, the opposite is love and trust.
How many award ceremonies, playground scuffles, sports games, sideline kerfuffles, and painful kid scenarios that I want to snuffle have I been through?
And how many more are ahead of me?
More than that.
So, when yet another friend responded to a crazed mom email I sent, she had this as one of her suggestions to survive the rough patches:
This suggestion is really hard because it does involve ceding some of that control – is to
make sure that each kid has at least one other trusted adult in their life that they can talk to and be real with other than the parents.
An aunt, uncle, mentor, pastor, coach – someone safe, responsible and with good values but someone that the kid also likes and connects with. Then, really trust that said person will carry some of the water during the times when your kid doesn’t want to confide in
or even be civil to you.
I wonder if there is a way to mix those words into my lavender hand cream and just spread it around, oh, pretty much my whole body.
This takes me back to the massive lump in my throat during a big school mass yesterday. For me, it was because having help with keeping my sons safe has a different level of meaning at a sports banquet than at mass. Both are important, but again, churchy girl that I am, I had a sense of relief yesterday when I could see from a distance that my ten year old was singing away. When this one sings, he does it with heart and soul.
So, seeing him experience that kind of joy made me feel safe.
Only a few years ago my two oldest sons served Easter Mass together for the first time in what had been a divisive couple of years for their relationship. So, while seeing them together on the alter as servers, competing like usual to out do each other,
I felt safe.
And you know what?
Pardon my French again, but without the occasional fifteen seconds of feeling overwhelmed with trust that my children are safe, will be safe, and they are being safe, parenting would only be scary shit.
All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.
~ Julian of Norwich